Senate Confirms Five Judicial Nominees

Senate ratifies nuke pact, delivering win to Obama

Obama: DADT repeal upholds “ideals that our fighting men and women risk their lives to defend”

KY: Feds file lawsuit against Louisville pro-life advocate

Birmingham archbishop attacks faithful Catholics protesting London’s “gay Masses”

Sen. Sessions complains about judicial nominees with “ACLU DNA”

Canada: “Selective reduction” of twins on the rise

USA Today: Many skip Christmas’ religious aspect

ACLU sends second letter asking gov’t to investigate potential denials of emergency care at religiously-affiliated hospitals

Indonesia: Catholics in Bogor (West Java) not allowed to celebrate Christmas Mass

Compromise in El Paso benefits battle falls through because of lawsuit

Study says delaying sex leads to better marriage

Mass. school requires permission slips for Pledge

Prof. Kenji Yoshino at Slate: “My response to Robert P. George’s second attempt to justify banning gay marriage”

    Kenji Yoshino writing at Slate: “[T]hose who have propounded trans-historical, much less eternal, definitions of marriage have often been time’s fools. Fifty years from now, I expect new challenges will be made to the definition of marriage. Yes, such challenges could take the form of challenges to recognize polygamous marriages (in fact, such challenges would not be new, as they were made on grounds of the free exercise of religion in the 19th century) . . .  I refuse to answer the question ‘What is marriage?’ by saying ‘Marriage is one thing, always and everywhere, for all people.’ I regard that refusal as a strength, rather than as a weakness, of my position, as I do not think we stand at the end of history today.”

  • Posted: 12/22/2010
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  • Category: Marriage & Family
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Iowa GOP leader non-committal on justices

Canada: “Catholic” teachers’ union supports “gay” lobby group

David French: Christmas skirmishes and the offended observer

Bangladeshi man beaten to death by his four wives

Report: One-child law enslaves women’s bodies

Chuck Colson: The repeal of DADT

IN: Cookie shop settles discrimination claim over “rainbow cookie” order

U.S. twisted arms on UN sexual orientation vote

Obama says his ‘attitudes are evolving’ on marriage definition

Israel: Christmas trees “provocative,” says Nazareth suburb’s mayor

Iraqi churches cancel Christmas festivities

Israeli Chief rabbis: Fight “abortion epidemic”

Canada: Alberta Health Minister calls for homosexuality to be removed from “mental disorder” list

SBA List looks to influence RNC chair race

First successful “savior sibling” treatment in UK

AU: “Happy Holidays, Mr. French!: Why The Religious Right Wants To Control Christmas”

NH Supreme Court vacates grandparent visit order

Retired chaplain: “Gays” in military could hurt recruiting

“Hard days” for evangelicals in Belarus

Fight looms after Texas gets 4 new US House seats

Defense bill OKd, no military hospital abortions

UK: Christian health worker faces sack over pro-life booklet

Indian woman discovers her husband is actually female

UK: Mall blocks Christmas song to avoid “religious bias”

UN restores sexual orientation reference to violence measure

Indonesia: Radical Islamic groups gain strength on the sly

Defectors testify to near zero freedom of religion in North Korea

Beijing sneers at Vatican’s “dangerous” complaints over state-appointed Catholic bishops

Phillip Blond: Why the Church of England is a force for good

EU won’t legislate on communist crimes

Ex-Planned Parenthood director’s new book exposes abortion biz

“Over 30 and single? Try polygamy”

Why did cultural conservatives lose the battle over DADT?

    LifeSiteNews: “Andrew Stiles at National Review Online observes in a Dec. 20 analysis of Burr’s ‘surprising vote’ that the GOP caucus did not put up a vigorous defense of DADT. He quotes Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) admitting to NRO that repeal was ‘something people knew was going to happen.’ Corker said he believes that if Democrats actually did have hearings, even more Republicans may have jumped on board. These events should set off alarm bells for cultural conservatives: the message is no longer resonating the way it did in 1993.”

  • Posted: 12/22/2010
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  • Category: Marriage & Family
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Jennifer Roback Morse: Reclaiming the rainbow

Supreme Court petition to watch: Do Equal Terms and Unreasonable Limitations provisions of RLUIPA violate Establishment Clause

WSJ: Sebelius’s health care price controls

Mass. gov nominates Asian-American to SJC who supports same sex “marriage” ruling

    Boston Globe: “Governor Deval Patrick, deepening his imprint on the state’s highest court, nominated what would be its first Asian-American justice yesterday, declaring that the highest ranks of a state’s government should reflect the diversity of its people. He nominated Appeals Court Justice Fernande R.V. Duffly, 61, to fill the seat held by Roderick L. Ireland, who on Monday was elevated to chief justice, becoming the first African-American to lead the Supreme Judicial Court.”

  • Posted: 12/22/2010
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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Hindu fundamentalist attacks on India’s Christians mount as Christmas approaches

Feds eye CA district’s handling of bullying claim

Turkish man goes on trial for plot to kill rabbis and Eastern Orthodox Patriarch

Canada PM Harper chided for vote on forced abortion bill

Greg Baylor: “Potentially Evangelical”: How to lose a job offer without even trying

John Fund: The net neutrality coup

Kansas town tries to tax church attendance

Churches charged for attendance?

ADF defending constitutional Christmas celebration

Religious legal group challenges “driveway tax”

ADF on the radio: It’s Okay to Say Merry Christmas!

ADF defends Christianity, Christmas against atheist groups

Court: No right to abortion in Europe

Judge rules Planned Parenthood center broke Ohio law

At U.S. insistence, sexual orientation language restored to UN resolution

A Possible Endorsement Test Case for the U.S. Supreme Court?

American Conservative Union Board approves GOProud for planning role in CPAC

Law Review: An Examination of the Louisiana Science Education Act

    Survival of the Fittest: An Examination of the Louisiana Science Education Act
    Robert E. Morelli, 84 St. John’s L. Rev. 797 (2010)

    “This Note asserts that the Louisiana Science Education Act is likely to be found unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. Part I will examine the progression and development of the failed creationist challenges to evolution, as well as provide the relevant framework used by the courts to evaluate Establishment Clause challenges to public school curricula. Part II will set out the social context and history of the LSEA itself. Part III will then proceed to examine the LSEA and its background under the framework established in Part I to show that it is unconstitutional.”

  • Posted: 12/22/2010
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  • Category: Religious Liberty

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Law Review: The State Action Principle and Its Critics

    The State Action Principle and Its Critics
    Lillian BeVier and John Harrison, 96 Va. L. Rev. 1767 (2010)

    “Almost all of the Constitution’s provisions apply to governments, state and federal, and not directly to private people. But the legal rules of private people are protected by the government, which raises the question of whether exercises of those rights are ever subject to constitutional rules. The state action principle, which is a standard feature of American constitutional law, holds that, in general, the decisions of private people in the exercise of their legal rights are not attributed to the government for purposes of the Constitution, even though the government’s coercive power supports those rights. The state action principle has long been a matter of controversy, and several important contemporary scholars of constitutional law have criticized it, suggesting that it rests on a failure to understand that private rights rest on government coercion and that it interferes with the proper implementation of some important substantive constitutional rules. This Article defends the state action principle, arguing that it is conceptually coherent and reflects a vision of the Constitution that, although subject to debate as a normative matter, has much to be said for it. Rather than resting on a failure to see public power *1768 behind private rights, the principle is founded on the idea that private people, when they exercise private rights, are principals who are entitled to act on their own behalf. Government officers and institutions, by contrast, are agents acting on behalf of others. That distinction, not the presence of government coercion, supports the different treatment of private people exercising state-supported private rights and government actors exercising government power. The Article also argues that the state action principle does not undermine the constitutional norms that protect particular forms of liberty or that forbid certain forms of discrimination, as the critics suggest. Rather, the state action principle fits those protections for liberty and equality into a constitutional system in which the vast bulk of legal rules, including in particular the rules that give private people control over material resources, are found in the non-constitutional law and not the Constitution itself.”

  • Posted: 12/22/2010
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  • Category: Bench & Bar

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Law Review: “Political Triumphs and Judicial Protection in the Gay Rights Movement”

    The Price of Victory: Political Triumphs and Judicial Protection in the Gay Rights Movement
    David Schraub, 77 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1437 (2010)

    “[T]his Comment asserts that the Equal Protection Clause should not focus on the relative political power of the disfavored group. Fundamentally, the wrong that increased judicial scrutiny is supposed to rectify is not measured by some baseline ‘proper’ level of political power. Rather, courts should provide special protection to certain groups to check against prejudicial or stereotyped treatment, demonstrations of animus that ought not be tolerated in a liberal society. The ability to secure passage of a few antidiscrimination provisions, or other high-profile political victories, does not in itself demonstrate that this prejudice is no longer salient. Focusing on the existence of animus, rather than power, better matches both the reasoning behind why courts are willing to intervene in the democratic process, as well as the actual mechanics governing when courts have launched such interventions.”

  • Posted: 12/22/2010
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  • Category: Marriage & Family

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Law Review: Evidence for Homeschooling: Constitutional Analysis in Light of Social Science Research

    Evidence for Homeschooling: Constitutional Analysis in Light of Social Science Research
    Tanya K. Dumas, Sean Gatesm and Deborah R. Schwarzer 16 Widener L. Rev. 63 (2010)

    “Homeschooling is a time-honored and widespread practice. It often presents, however, a conflict between the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and the State’s right to impose regulations in the interest of ensuring an educated citizenry. The Supreme Court has made it clear that any regulation impacting this constitutional right must be “reasonable.” The courts have therefore generally resolved homeschooling cases by examining whether state regulation of homeschooling places an unreasonable burden on the rights of parents. The courts, however, have altogether failed to address another, more fundamental question: whether the state regulation in fact advances the State interest. A regulation that fails this criterion cannot be ‘reasonable.’ Using the vehicle of a recent California appellate court case, in which the court initially upheld a regulation prohibiting parents from homeschooling their children unless they first obtained a state teaching credential, we show how recent social science research should impact the analysis. Instead of assuming away the issue of whether the regulation in fact advances the State interest, we show that this type of empirical research will allow courts to be able to answer this threshold question.”

  • Posted: 12/22/2010
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  • Category: Marriage & Family
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